First Light

I started blogging in 2009. My memory is unreliable, but I think my first blog was about my phone which was stolen. I had employed quite a few words to describe its physical features, the attachment I had developed with it, and how I loved listening to music on the phone. I was 22, and I allowed myself to lament over a stolen phone, like a privileged teenager. My second post was a short story about a wife who poisoned her husband. I was inspired by a cousin, who was dabbling in short stories then, and I was intoxicated by the delusion that everybody can write a short story. I was just introduced to Facebook. The social media platform was aggressively convincing its users about their undiscovered talent. Everybody was a blogger. Everybody was a DSLR photographer. Everybody was an illustrator. Facebook painted a rosy picture of a world where everybody was allowed to pursue their passion. In retrospect, I realise that Facebook was like a pyramid scheme. It was militant about recruiting people by polluting their minds with dreams which were beyond their reach.

Almost after half a decade, and a short stint in journalism as a reporter/features writer, I began to be ashamed of the quality of my blogs. I abandoned Blogger, and moved to WordPress, with the hope that I was going to become a better writer. In 2015, I set up book blogs. Equipped with optimism, I wrote about how I felt about books. I inhaled books, and exhaled my feelings about it. I left comments on hundreds of blogs, subtly arm-twisting readers into visiting my blog, and by 2018, I had seen it all and found myself in the familiar spot — tired, empty, and ashamed. I had nothing to say in my blogs. Perhaps, since the beginning, there was nothing to say. Perhaps, there were no opinions, and just a lot of feelings. It became apparent in 2018 that it was time to abandon the book blog too. I shut it down.

In between 2018 and 2020, I opened a couple of more accounts on WordPress. I tried hard to write, say something, but every post sounded pathetic, desperate, and every post was a distant echo of the moaning and whimpering I made when Facebook massaged my ego. I was writing with the acute awareness of being watched. The act of writing began to feel like a performance. The readers’ feedback was the invisible string, and I was the marionette.

Readers who managed to travel along with me in my narcissistic journey for years opined that my writing voice was changing at an unhealthy rate. I was sounding like a different person in each blog. The change made my readers feel uncomfortable, and some even expressed concerns about my mental health. In truth, I was suffering. The delusion that I had something to say, and that I could say it with passion, confidence, and in beautiful words was too much to bear. There were two options to relieve myself from the agony. A) I could just stop writing. I could keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. I could keep visiting this place to consume words, and find it in me to be content about it. I could wake myself up from the grand delusion that everybody is a writer. I could just be an audience. B) I could give myself another chance. I could introduce meaning and purpose to the act of writing. I could hold safe space for myself while I flexed my muscles to understand and articulate ideas, without being stifled by the curious eyes of the readers, and without meeting my expectations fuelled by narcissism. I have chosen B.

The last blog, where I was active as a reader, where I was trying to find a voice, has been deactivated. This is a clean slate again. Here, I will try to capture, and pin down thoughts with abandon. I am not here to build a blog with thousands of followers, I don’t have an agenda, and I am not here to chronicle my life. I am here because I exist. I am here because thoughts come, and go. I am here because I love words. I am here because I love the person I become when I think I can write. I am here because I am egoistic. I am here because everything is absurd and arbitrary, and somewhere in the dark corner of the World Wide Web, a woman can find some order and meaning in that randomness, pointlessness, and namelessness.

My binoculars received its First Light a month ago when I lifted and directed it toward Jupiter and its moons. I spotted Saturn and its ring too. On the last full moon day, I mounted my binoculars on a tripod and turned it toward the moon. The satellite didn’t look like how it appeared on all the gorgeous, carefully captured pictures I saw on Instagram. The moon looked raw, vulnerable, and real. I loved it that way.

There is a world of difference between what I see,
and what gets captured.

6 thoughts on “First Light

  1. The Visitor December 26, 2020 / 9:07 pm

    This post means so much to me – it gives me hope that I too can try to be a writer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D December 26, 2020 / 10:55 pm

      Absolutely, Uncle OT. You are a writer, and I request you to write, and write more. ❤

      Like

  2. Claire 'Word by Word' December 27, 2020 / 5:32 pm

    I have been trying to write my way out of “self-consciousness” for years, yet doing so in public.
    It’s called Perseverance, one of my absolute favourite words when I was a child.
    I try to write my way forward and stop the self-judgement.
    Sometimes an unwelcome reader reminds me they’re watching and reading too and shares their judgement, they are my my most important teachers, I am a long way from the wisdom I aspire to, so I continue, word by word. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • D December 27, 2020 / 8:09 pm

      Thank you very much for sharing your thought, Claire. ‘Perseverance’ is such a gorgeous word. It’s been elusive to me, and I am making more efforts to inch closer to it. I love what you said about the unwelcome readers becoming your important teachers. That perspective is liberating. I intend to move further, word by word, too. Thank you again, Claire. 🙂

      Like

  3. Taha September 5, 2021 / 6:15 am

    Hi D,

    Wanted to read something, remembered that I had saved this blog. Thought I might need it some day.
    First light gives me hope. I felt the same way, and this gives me some clarity. Now I need not waste years to realise this :p
    Also will keep reading here, Don’t vanish from here also 🥲

    நன்றி

    Taha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deepika September 9, 2021 / 5:39 pm

    Hi Taha! What a delightful surprise! It’s been so long. Thank you for bookmarking this blog and creating time to read it. I am glad it resonated with you. Always remember that you are SO young, you are passionate about art, and you can practise and make mistakes and learn and practise. I am sure you will. And of course, I totally intend to stay here, Taha. Other social media platforms are too overwhelming, but blogging feels nice.

    You take care, Taha!

    நன்றி! வணக்கம்! மீண்டும் வருக. 🙂

    Like

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